Monday, December 1, 2014

The Chow (Toraun Part 8)

Steam hounds are a mix of machine and an ancient bit of magic. The creator of a steam hound takes bits and pieces of steel, tubes, flesh, springs, more flesh, and gears. The creator will then fashion the steam hound into, well, honestly however he wishes. I mean he is the creator, and so he can do whatever he wants, right? He will then use a mix of necromancy and golemancy to create a rotting heap of pure nastiness. The steam hound has an internal burner that boils water into steam which in turn turns several different gears that makes it move. Its brain and muscles bind to the metal, springs and gears holding it all together nice and neat. This Steam hound has often been mistaken for a hell hound. They have similar names and are both mean as… well mean as anything I know. So if I were you and I saw one of these hounds, either a hell hound or a steam hound, I would run as fast and as far as I could.
Speaking of which, one time when I served a mission in California I had an experience with a hound. No, no, not a hell hound or a steam hound. Those are fictional creatures and really don’t exist, at least not that I know of. On the other hand they may exist in another dimension. You know steam punk is the idea that instead of coal our world turned to steam to power its way through… well, history. So, I guess there is always the possibility that a steam hound could exist in another dimension. Anyway, back to my story that’s real. My companion and I sat on a nice cushy sofa while our host sat on a chair closer to me. He had just finished telling us about how his dog, a chow, had just clamped down on a friend and they had used a pan to beat it in the head until it loosened its grip; when his friendly (not really) chow walked around the corner. I looked at his dog and it looked at me. My face went white and it charged. Now thankfully the dog’s owner was quick. I still remember the slobber on my pants leg. The moral of the story: run from steam hounds, hell hounds and any other kind of hound.
Oh yeah this isn’t about me, but Musaafir.
“I didn’t do anything,” Musaafir said a little too quickly. His eyes widened as he heard the howl pass through the wall like paper. The howl actually helped him think a little bit about the short time he had been on Toraun and he realized that perhaps, just maybe he had done something.
Alex, still close enough to smell, leaned in even closer. Now, even though Alex looked like an elvish Goddess from Musaafir’s dreams he could tell that he didn’t want to cross her, much less lie to her. So, when she said, “Tell me everything that you did since the moment you arrived here.” He spilled his guts without hesitation. By the time he reached the part about shooting the bird Alex’s face had completely drained of blood. “You…” She looked at him in astonishment unable to finish.
The howl sounded even closer and Mussafir jumped out of his skin. “What?” His voice sounded much louder than he wanted it to. He put a hand over his mouth and said much quieter, “What did I do?”
Alex shook her head and mumbled, “We’re all dead.”
Now you might be thinking this is the end of the story, because there is no way I can get Musaafir out of this mess. Let me tell you something though. Musaafir is rather handy and remember he may not be the bravest man alive, but he has age on his side. See just because he’s young here doesn’t mean his mind is young. Wait that may count against him….

So while you contemplate the fate of Musaafir you might take a moment to check out an amazing blog ( where Hillary really knows her history. I can guarantee you that she will support my claim that in all of our history, in this dimension, there has never been report of a hell hound nor a steam hound, so you can sleep easy tonight. However, there really are chows and they are just as mean. Don’t let the picture fool you. I repeat don’t let the cute cuddly picture fool you. You’ve been warned.


  1. I knew I didn't like dogs for a good reason. Well, some dogs are ok, but I'm always wary of new ones. Great new addition to the story!

  2. Great story! I enjoy it very much.


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